Episode 3 of History Channel’s Alone, Season 9, takes place over days 12 – 16. Nine contestants remain at the start of the episode.
This is a recap and review of episode 3. At the end, I’ll provide some guesses as to who will last until the end and who might successfully hunt a bear.
Spoilers to follow!
Adam – “Treefort Dude”
Of all the contestants in this episode, we follow Adam the most. He has a productive few days at first, building a fireplace in his moss house with clay and grass cob over willow branches. I learned that weaving a fence and plastering it together is called “wattle and daub.” He added a weather flap on the chimney to keep out the rain which was a great idea.
He spends a few days fishing but catches nothing, which probably isn’t surprising to anyone who spends time outdoors (and those of us who have watched most seasons of Alone). After his failure, he performs a jig he calls “Do the Hungry Dance,” which was … amusing.
A few days later, he explores the nearby land, stumbling upon a big bolete mushroom. Despite being on the hunt (“glassing”) for bears, he manages to nab a grouse, which he cooks with the mushroom, cranberries, and labrador tea.
After starting the episode showing us his bladderwrack seaweed stew, Igor doesn’t do much. He starts to make a cabin with a floor (due to the muskeg he’s stuck upon) but doesn’t progress very far. I’ll admit I was chirping him at home until he went off camera with his saw … and came back with that grouse! Respect earned for Igor the Grouse Chopper!
Benji begins his segment by showing the beautiful morning clouds. He then explains he hasn’t even started a permanent shelter yet as he likes to sleep on the ground. Just wait until the snow hits, Benny!
Benji has a good attitude, though, as he never lets setbacks get him down. He appears invigorated by the land and catches fish and a squirrel. The significant action of the episode is when he stalks a group of beavers. He manages to hit one, but it escapes. As a Canadian, I admit I wasn’t too sad about his loss, as they are our national animal.
When we see Juan Pablo, he hasn’t had meat in over ten days, so he decides to go exploring. He finds bear tracks and makes a plan to lure bears to a specific location so he can hunt one. He sets up a trap and a bell using the tin cans he found and baits it with grouse bits. I’m skeptical, but what do I know?
We see Karie Lee for only a few brief moments. She washes her hair and shows the process of building her shelter, which consists of digging into the dirt to reveal the clay, which has a larger R-value than moss or other materials. I thought R-value only applied to insulation or windows, so that’s a fact I can bring up at parties!
Jessie spent most of the episode building her permanent shelter. The woman is a beast! She’s making a shelter that appears bigger than most people’s garages. She takes down massive logs, carrying three at a time despite each weighing 35lbs.
Her cabin combines elements of other shelters (berm, lean-to, etc.) and, quite frankly, looks awesome, despite all the calories she’s burning building it.
She also finds a slew of bunchberries and creates snares to catch squirrels. She catches two, and the second one damn near broke my heart as the mother squirrel came by to grieve. I’ll not lie; I would have probably left at that point if it were me.
But, she uses this moment to raise a point about our impact on the environment, how, despite seeing the deaths we cause firsthand when living off the land, that is doing less damage than our lifestyles in the modern age.
As such, I’m moving Jessie into my top three, along with Adam and Tiemojin. If you can witness a grieving mama squirrel without breaking down, I think you have a good chance of overcoming the emotional challenges of Alone!
In terms of hunting a bear, Juan Pablo is the only one who has put forth a real effort. But then again, there is Igor the Grouse Chopper …
The next episode aired yesterday evening, on June 16, on History Channel.
I apologize for the delay in this review – StackTV put up the episode a few days late in Canada on Amazon Prime. Hopefully, it was a one-time error and I’ll have the next review up for you on time!